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Syria crackdown draws criticism

Tuesday, May 03, 2011 - 02:00

May 3 - French activists and Israel's Defence Minister condemn Syria's crackdown on pro-democracy protesters. Lindsey Parietti reports

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Activists in France splash paint on the Syrian Embassy in protest at Syria's violent crackdown on pro-democracy forces. About two dozen people from Reporters Without Borders defiled the embassy in Paris on World Press Freedom Day Tuesday. They are here to send a message: "It's ink that must flow and not blood." (SOUNDBITE) (English) JEAN-FRANCOIS JULLIARD, HEAD OF REPORTERS WITHOUT BORDERS SAYING: "Foreign reporters are forbidden to enter Syria, it's quite impossible to have a visa for foreign journalists to work in Syria right now. So it's a complete silence. We don't have many images from Syria, we don't really know what is the situation in the whole country." Since Syria expelled reporters, the international community has relied on amateur video posted on social websites to show events there. This video from Sunday shows security forces jumping over walls in Deraa where they rounded up men under 40. In another video, a man can be heard telling security forces 'it's peaceful' amid gunfire. Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will not be able to cling to power much longer. (SOUNDBITE) (Hebrew) ISRAELI DEFENCE MINISTER EHUD BARAK SAYING: "I don't think Israel should be alarmed by the possibility of Assad being replaced by someone else in Syria. We should be very realistic. The process taking place in the Middle East holds great promise and inspiration in the long term for our children and grandchildren." Rights groups report at least 560 dead since protests erupted in Deraa and quickly spread to the rest of the country in March. Lindsey Parietti, Reuters

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Syria crackdown draws criticism

Tuesday, May 03, 2011 - 02:00